Magnetic crystalline-symmetry-protected axion electrodynamics and field-tunable unpinned Dirac cones in EuIn2As2

Riberolles, S.X.M. and Trevisan, T.V. and Kuthanazhi, B. and Heitmann, T.W. and Ye, F. and Johnston, D.C. and Bud’ko, S.L. and Ryan, D.H. and Canfield, P.C. and Kreyssig, A. and Vishwanath, A. and McQueeney, R.J. and Wang, L.-L. and Orth, P.P. and Ueland, B.G.

Volume: 12 Pages:
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-21154-y
Published: 2021

Knowledge of magnetic symmetry is vital for exploiting nontrivial surface states of magnetic topological materials. EuIn2As2 is an excellent example, as it is predicted to have collinear antiferromagnetic order where the magnetic moment direction determines either a topological-crystalline-insulator phase supporting axion electrodynamics or a higher-order-topological-insulator phase with chiral hinge states. Here, we use neutron diffraction, symmetry analysis, and density functional theory results to demonstrate that EuIn2As2 actually exhibits low-symmetry helical antiferromagnetic order which makes it a stoichiometric magnetic topological-crystalline axion insulator protected by the combination of a 180∘ rotation and time-reversal symmetries: C2× T= 2 ′. Surfaces protected by 2 ′ are expected to have an exotic gapless Dirac cone which is unpinned to specific crystal momenta. All other surfaces have gapped Dirac cones and exhibit half-integer quantum anomalous Hall conductivity. We predict that the direction of a modest applied magnetic field of μ0H ≈ 1 to 2 T can tune between gapless and gapped surface states. © 2021, This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply.

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